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Australian Guide to Legal Citation

This guide will help you understand how to reference in the AGLC style

Cases

Chapter 2: Cases

These rules apply to Australian cases. To cite foreign or international cases, See Part IV: International Materials; Part V: Foreign Domestic Materials

 

Case names, See 2.1
  • Place the case name in italics
  • Where the parties in a case name are individuals, only include the person's surname
  • Only the first plaintiff and defendant should be cited (do not include '& Anor' or '& Ors')
Omitting the case name, See 2.1.15
  • The case name should be left out of a footnote citation if it appears in full in the sentence accompanying the footnote
  • In subsequent references the case name (or short title) should always appear in the footnote, See 1.4
Law report series, See 2.2.2
  • A reported version of a case should always be cited over an unreported version
  • Always use the authorised report where available (judgments reproduced in an authorised report have been approved by a judge or their associate)

Parallel citations, See 2.2.7
  • Do not include parallel citations to a case
Pinpoint references, See 2.2.5
  • Always pinpoint to page numbers for reported cases
  • If a reported case has both pages and paragraph numbers, always pinpoint to the pages. Paragraphs may be included in addition
  • For unreported cases using a medium neutral citation, pinpoints will be to paragraphs
Identifying judicial officers and counsel, See 2.4
  • The judicial officer/s whose judgment is being cited should be identified in brackets after the pinpoint reference (if not already apparent).
  • See page 59 for a table of abbreviations of judicial officers in Australia
Submissions in cases, See 2.8
Party Name, | 'Title of Submission', | Submission in Case Name, | Proceeding number | Full date of submission, | Pinpoint.
  • Where a party name is an individual it should appear in full (not just the surname)
  • Title of submission and proceeding number should only be included if they appear in the submission

Cases format and examples

See 22.2
  • Round brackets are used around the year for law reports organised by volume number
  • Square brackets are used around the year for law reports organised by year (if more than one volume is produced in a year, include the volume number in the citation)
  • The starting page of a case always forms part of the citation and is separate from the pinpoint
  • If a case uses a unique reference number in place of a starting page, use that number (including any symbols. CCH cases often use these numbers and the symbol: )
  • When referring to a case generally, or in its entirety, pinpoints are not necessary
Reported case organised by volume
Case name | (Year) | Volume | Law report series abbreviation | Starting page, | Pinpoint.

 

Reported case organised by year
Case name | [Year] | Volume if applicable | Law report series abbreviation | Starting page, | Pinpoint.

 

Examples

R v Schelvis (2016) 263 A Crim R 1. [case organised by volume]

Waddy v Rabba [1982] Qd R 20. [case organised by year]

Morris v Morris [1982] 1 NSWLR 61. [case organised by year where report has more than one volume per year]

R v Visconti [1982] 2 NSWLR 104. [case organised by year where report has more than one volume per year]

 

Pinpoint examples

Brown v Tasmania (2017) 261 CLR 328. [no pinpoint]

Brown v Tasmania (2017) 261 CLR 328, 335. [pinpointing to a page]

Brown v Tasmania (2017) 261 CLR 328, 328. [pinpointing to the first page]

Brown v Tasmania (2017) 261 CLR 328, 335–8. [pinpointing to a span of pages, 335 through to 338]

Brown v Tasmania (2017) 261 CLR 328, 335–42. [pinpointing to a span of pages, 335 through to 342]

Brown v Tasmania (2017) 261 CLR 328, 335, 338. [pinpointing to pages 335 and 338, but not 336 or 337]

Brown v Tasmania (2017) 261 CLR 328, 345 [25]. [pinpointing to a page and paragraph]

Brown v Tasmania (2017) 261 CLR 328, 345 [25]–[28]. [pinpointing to a span of paragraphs on a single page]

Brown v Tasmania (2017) 261 CLR 328, 345–6 [25]–[32]. [pinpointing to a span of paragraphs over a span of pages]

Brown v Tasmania (2017) 261 CLR 328, 345 [25], 346 [32]. [pinpointing to 2 paragraphs on two different pages]

Moroccanoil Israel Ltd v Aldi Foods Pty Ltd (2017) AIPC ¶92-533. [CCH case using a unique reference number in place of starting page, no pinpoint]

Moroccanoil Israel Ltd v Aldi Foods Pty Ltd (2017) AIPC ¶92-533, 38291. [CCH case with pinpoint]

See 2.3
  • In accordance with rule 2.2.2, a case should not be cited as unreported if it has been reported
Decisions with a medium neutral citation, See 2.3.1
Case name | [Year] | Unique court identifier | Judgment number, | [Pinpoint].

 

Decisions without a medium neutral citation, See 2.3.2
  • Unreported cases without a medium neutral citation allocated by the court should follow the form below:
Case name | (Court, | Judge(s), | (Full judgment date) | Pinpoint.

 

Examples

Palmer v Ayres [2017] HCA 5. [decision with a medium neutral citation]

Ross v Chambers (Supreme Court of the Northern Territory, Kriewaldt J, 5 April 1956). [decision without a medium neutral citation]

 

Pinpoint examples

Blundell v Queensland Building and Construction Commission [2018] QSC 58. [no pinpoint]

Blundell v Queensland Building and Construction Commission [2018] QSC 58, [20]. [pinpoint]

Blundell v Queensland Building and Construction Commission [2018] QSC 58, [20]–[23]. [pinpointing to a span of paragraphs]

Blundell v Queensland Building and Construction Commission [2018] QSC 58, [20], [23]. [pinpointing to paragraphs 20 and 23, but not 21 or 22]

See 2.6.1

Administrative decisions and determinations (including those of tribunals) should be cited in the same way as reported or unreported cases, with a few exceptions, including:

  • Party names may be separated by either 'v' or 'and' – use whichever is used in the decision itself
  • In the case name, a number or code is sometimes used in place of party names
Reported
Case name | (Year) | Volume | Law report series abbreviation | Starting Page, | Pinpoint.
 
Unreported
Case name | [Year] | Unique court identifier | Judgment number | [Pinpoint].

 

Examples

AAT Case 7422 (1991) 22 ATR 3450.

Re Nguyen and Migration Agents Registration Authority [2012] AATA 925.

 

Refer to Reported cases and Unreported cases for pinpoint examples

Looking deeper: which version of a case to use?

Often a case will include parallel citations. A case should have an unreported version, and then it may also be reported in one or more law report series.

Tip - Use Lexis Advance to find the CaseBase record of a case. In CaseBase, citations are listed from most authoritative (left) to least authoritative (right).

In the screenshot below, for the case Western Australia v Ward, you should consult and cite the CLR (Commonwealth Law Reports) version of the case. The CLR is the authorised report series for the High Court of Australia. The HCA (High court of Australia) is the unreported decision.

Note that the ‘BC’ version of a case (Butterworths Citation) is a unique citation to the Lexis databases and should not generally be cited.